Eating For Your Health

Southwestern Chicken: Three Ways To Prepare Chicken With Less Fat And More Flavor

by Salvador Hill

Chicken is a staple of the American diet. Its versatility allows you to prepare it in dozens of ways, either as a stand-alone entree, or mixed with pasta, rice, or potatoes as a complete meal. Almost every culture in the world eats chicken and everyone of them has their own ways of preparing it. If you find that your family eats chicken at least three nights a week, you may want to cut back on the fat content in your diet. There are three ways to prepare chicken such that it has plenty of Southwestern flavor but none of the bad-for-you fats to worry about.

Chili-Lime Chicken

This method requires a chili-lime marinade, which you can either buy premixed in liquid or powder form, or make it yourself. To reduce the fat, use a vegetable oil with no trans fats or saturated fats in it. Also, remove all the skin from the chicken and any visible fat deposits. Since more fat is found in the legs and thighs of the chicken, you can reduce the fat content even further by using only breasts and wings.

Avocado Stuffed Chicken

In this method, you will use only boneless, skinless chicken breasts with no rib meat to make the avocado stuffed chicken. (The "rib meat" often contains too much inedible muscle, chest wall ligaments, and tendons, which will only cause you and your family to stop chewing repeatedly in order to remove these bits from your mouth.) Using fresh avocades, scoop the fruit of the avocado out and season it with either Cayenne pepper or wild honey, depending on your personal tastes. Then slice through the thickest part of each breast and smear the avocado mixture inside the pockets you have created in the breasts. Bake or grill the breasts until they are no longer pink inside and out.

Pan-Seared Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle is a very popular seasoning because it works so well with so many kinds of meat. For this method, you will want to pan-sear the chicken (preferably skinless and boneless breasts) until you get a nice light singe on the flesh. Next, toss it in a plastic baggie with fat-free chipotle or chipotle ranch dressing, either powdered or liquid. (The powdered packet contents will adhere to the chicken as it releases its juices while it bakes.) Then bake the chicken until it is moist and tender but no longer pink when you cut into the thickest parts.